I get this question a lot. Who to tip and how much? There are so many guides online about tipping for weddings, but consider this your ultimate go-to guide for tipping at destination weddings. And for my Punta Cana brides, some of these tips are specific for you!
At the end of the day, tip what you can and what you feel most comfortable with, based on the service that you were provided. Consider this more of a guideline on who gets tipped and to guide on how much, within your budget and what you think is reasonable. Also, consider getting a nice, thoughtful gift for your vendors instead of a tip or in addition to a tip if you feel like the tip isn't enough.
Punta Cana Tip
While tipping 20% is customary in the U.S., that's not the same in the Dominican Republic. From what I've been told, 10% is more customary. Keep in mind, however, that a lot of your vendors are not from the Dominican Republic and that in general, you're saving a great deal for what you're getting just by having your wedding in another country. Other vendors (like wait or bar staff) are people who usually get paid in Dominican pesos and the U.S. dollar is definitely worth more. These are things you should consider and weigh out when you're tipping.
Hair and Makeup Artist: it's customary to tip your hair and makeup artist around 20% of the cost of your hair and makeup.
Photographer/videographer: generally, you do not need to tip them as long as they own their own company, but if they worked with you on pricing, stayed extra, or just in general worked extra hard, throwing them any amount would probably be greatly appreciated. Or, better yet, order an album or prints! If your photographer took you to another location for a Rock the Dress session, consider "tipping" an amount that may cover their gas.
Officiant: this depends on where you're having your wedding; if it's in a church, then a tip is customary, but otherwise, it's not.
DJ: $50 is probably sufficient, as long as he's not also the MC.
MC: $50 is probably more than enough for the MC.
Wait Staff and Bartenders: Depending on the number of people working that night, anywhere from $200-300 for everyone is probably sufficient. If you have a lot of guests and there are more waiters or the waiters are working harder, consider tipping more. Tipping 10-20% of your total food and beverage bill is way more than generous, so don't feel obligated to tip that much.
Cake: it is not customary to tip your baker
Entertainment: it is not customary to tip the entertainment (Fire Show, Crazy Hour).
Florist: it is not customary to tip the florist
Transportation: Anywhere from $3-5 each time the bus comes around and takes you and/or your guests is great or count how many trips they took and give a lump sum.
Wedding Planner, Coordinator and/or Decorator: Sometimes this is all the same person, especially with destination weddings, but sometimes it's not. Tip the way you would at a restaurant, 15-20% is customary, depending on how happy you are with the service
Punta Cana Tip:
Jellyfish: The decorators are separate from the coordinators. The coordinators are the people who make sure everything is what you asked for and that everything is going according to your timeline, usually Janelkis. The decorators are Gianna and Clara. Consider tipping the coordinator separately. Coordinating is a lot of behind-the-scenes work that means your wedding was smooth.
Huracan/Kukua/Pearl: These venues tend to have a set price for decor that includes certain items. The decorators (Nati at Huracan; Bego at Kukua; Mayte at Pearl) are also your coordinators. You might want to give a bit of an extra tip, if you were particularly happy with the service.
Hotel: even though most of the hotels are all inclusive, tips are welcomed and should be encouraged. Remind your guests to bring a bit of extra cash to tip the people that are servicing them, especially bartenders, housekeeping, and wait staff at the restaurants.
Party Boat: ask if there is a tip box that can be left out on the counter. Much like with the hotel, encourage your guests to tip, especially if you're covering any portion of the cost of the boat.
It's best to tip in cash, so don't forget to make it to the bank to take out the money, since ATMs tend to have a daily limit.